As a Master in the Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Dipika Shah has maintained an up-to-date knowledge of trends in oral health and dentistry. As such, she is concerned with recent studies finding that the rate of new oral cancer diagnoses has remained steady despite progress in educating the public about the dangers of tobacco. It is likely that the continued commonality of oral cancers, even while the frequency of most other cancers is declining, is due to a particular strain of the human papilloma virus (HPV).
While oral cancers resulting from nicotine and alcohol use are most commonly found in elderly men, cancers of the mouth and throat with HPV DNA occur most often in men between the ages of thirty and fifty. It is likely that people who are sexually active but are not smokers or heavy drinkers are unaware that they are in a high-risk group. Most HPV infections heal without the host having ever been aware of them, and HPV-related oral cancers tend to occur far back in the throat, where patients are unlikely to notice them until they are experiencing problems from tumors or lesions. However, HPV-related oral cancers are responsive to treatment if caught early, so it is greatly beneficial for younger people to undergo oral cancer screenings.
Dr. Dipika Shah, MAGD, operates at 723 North Beers Street, Suite 2F, Holmdel, New Jersey, 07733-1512. To schedule an appointment, call 732-264-8180 or visit DentistNJ.com and fill out a contact sheet.